On Facebook, it’s 4.74 degrees of separation, not six, according to a new study by study by researchers at Facebook and the University of Milan.
With the rise of modern computing, social networks are now being mapped in digital form, giving researchers the ability to study them on a much grander, even global, scale. Continuing this tradition of social network research, Facebook, in collaboration with researchers at the Università degli Studi di Milano, is today releasing two studies of the Facebook social graph.
First, we measured how many friends people have, and found that this distribution differs significantly from previous studies of large-scale social networks. Second, we found that the degrees of separation between any two Facebook users is smaller than the commonly cited six degrees, and has been shrinking over the past three years as Facebook has grown. Finally, we observed that while the entire world is only a few degrees away, a user’s friends are most likely to be of a similar age and come from the same country.
Full Summary of Findings (and Charts): Anatomy of Facebook (via Facebook Blog)
The Anatomy of the Facebook Social Graph
by J. Ugander, B. Karrer, L. Backstrom, C. Marlow.
Four Degrees of Separation
by L. Backstrom, P. Boldi, M. Rosa, J. Ugander, S. Vigna.